OCU Alumnus David Dean Ministers in China and Argentina
Ohio Christian University Alumnus David Dean ministers in China and Argentina.
by David Dean, Class of 1970
I have come to the inescapable conclusion that one of the great privileges an authentic Christ follower has been given is to make Jesus known to all peoples of the earth.
David Platt, in his best selling book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream, asks some very searching questions to the American Church and to American believers. He poses the question of what would happen in our lives if we really took the Word of God seriously and sought to live out the gospel of Christ in our fallen world.
At the conclusion of his book he invites us, as American Christians, to join him in a journey of reaching out to the entire world. He makes an astounding statement when he said, “When Jesus looked at the harassed and helpless multitudes, apparently his concern was not that the lost world would not come to the Father. Instead his concern was that his followers would not go to the lost.”
I have come to the inescapable conclusion that one of the great privileges an authentic Christ follower has been given is to make Jesus known to all peoples of the earth. The process by which I have come to believe that this best takes place is when we come to the place of understanding the power of one.
The power of one is simply an effort to say that one individual can make an eternal difference by his or her one and only life which is totally yielded to God to be used as He sees best.
There are two powerful events that impacted my life as I began to think about how best to live out the power of one in a global context. The first was in a banquet room in Atlanta, Georgia in 2002. About 200 people had gathered to hear John Maxwell cast a vision for training a million leaders globally for the cause of Christ. The vision captured my heart and I committed to be a part of this great work with EQUIP Ministries.
From a humble beginning of less than 200 people, God has touched millions of leaders across the globe and expanded the kingdom of God in ways that only will be revealed in eternity.
I have had the privilege of being a part of the EQUIP Leadership Training in the nation of Argentina for the last 3 years. My wife, my son in law, Jason Dooley, and I have traveled to Buenos Aires 6 times over the last 3 years.
It has been one of the great experiences of my life to partner with EQUIP to raise up leaders who will carry the gospel to all of Argentina and even to all of South America.
The second powerful event in my life occurred in December of 2010. My dear friend and long time associate, John Cooper, was taken from us suddenly without warning by an aggressive form of cancer. His passing made a lasting impact on my life and on the lives of those who make up the Brookside Church. Out of this difficult experience, God has taught us what a difference one person can make in the lives of others. The power of one is no longer just a phrase or catchy motto in our lives. It has become a driving force in all we are trying to do in living out our faith in a fallen world.
In March of 2011 my wife and I were extended an invitation to travel with Dr. Doug and Winnie Carter to the nation of China. We spent time with Chinese Christians and saw first-hand what God was doing in this expansive nation. When asked by one of the leaders, “What will you speak to us about?” I responded somewhat sheepishly, “The power of one.”
He began to weep and said that it was “divine”! He shared with me that he believed that the secret to reaching out to His people with the gospel was simply one person who was committed to sharing his faith with another and then building into another life until that person grows into a strong believer who will repeat the process over and over again.
Since our trip to China I have had the privilege of traveling again to Argentina with OCU President, Dr. Mark Smith and District Superintendent, Rev. Mike Holbrook to speak to a gathering of South American Nazarene leaders about the power of one.
It was a marvelous experience to see hundreds of leaders gather to hear about the power of one. It is bringing power and renewal to every life who takes it seriously.
Over the last several years, God has taken me to places that I would have never dreamed possible…Brazil, Bolivia, Ukraine, Africa and Argentina… but it has been the deepest joy I have ever known.
Perhaps, we need to take the Radical challenge and seek to live out our lives by giving ourselves to the work of raising up strong Christian leaders and Christ Followers who are committed to The Power of One and to reaching our world for Christ.
It is a challenge that we will never regret…in time or in eternity! Why worry about all of this? The answer is quite simple: because Lost People Matter To God!